Brakel Fights To Save Himachal Power Project

Shimla: Brakel Corporation NV, a Dutch company fighting to save an award of 960 MW hydropower project on Friday came forth saying that no facts had been misrepresented when the project was allotted to it in December 2006 by way of global bidding.

A seven member team headed by Dean Gesterkamp, chairman and Anil Wahal, managing director of Dutch company Brakel Corporation NV on Friday held a closed door meet with the high powered government committee contesting their claims that the company had bagged the project by misrepresenting facts.

Other members of the team included Sanjay Sagar representing Adani Group, David Smith representing investor group – Standard Bank, a South Africa based bank: Ecosecurities, a Dublin based company trading in carbon credits: Energy Infrastructure Overseas; Glenalta Capital; Paul William representing Halcrow, a London based multinational company and legal advisors Vikram and Ishwar Nankani.

Having heard out promoters of Brakel Corporation regarding allotment of a contentious multi-million dollar hydro project, a chief secretary Asha Swaroop headed committee is to submit its recommendation to the cabinet whether to cancel the project allotment or not.

“We did hear out what they had to say,” said Bhim Sen, principal secretary to chief minister, who was one of the members on the high powered committee.

Anil Wahal told Hill Post, “we have pointed out that there has been no misrepresentation of facts and the project was awarded after all stated positions were duly considered by the government.”

“We immediately paid the Rs 173.48 crore upfront money demanded from us with the conditionality that it be encashed if the government considers the 960 MW Jangi-Thopan-Powari project as approved,” said the Brakel spokesman.

The government not only cashed that cheque but also another cheque of Rs 20 Crore, which it had sought as interest for delayed payments.

“A rival bidding company petitioned the court before the government took a decision to accept the upfront money and now they turn around and say that new facts have come to light. That would be going back on what is a deemed contract,” he said.

Unable to come to a decision whether to cancel a MOU entered into with Brakel for the 960 MW project in December 2006 or not, the Himachal cabinet had constituted a high powered committee to re-consider secretary powers recommendation that it be cancelled for misrepresentation of facts.

The chief secretary headed committee decided to give on last hearing to the company before putting the matter up before the cabinet for a decision.

Reliance Energy, the rival bidding company, had gone to court claiming that terms of allotment stood violated.

The government settled to re-examine the allotment issue and let the court know that if violations of terms came to light, the agreement would be cancelled. New allotment, if required, would be made by inviting fresh bids.

Outbidding competitors, Brakel Corporation by offering Rs 34 lakh per Megawatt of potential hydel energy on the two 480 MW projects on Satluj River had bagged them in a global tendering process in December, 2006.

As Editor, Ravinder Makhaik leads a team of media professionals at Hill Post. Spanning a career of over two decades in mass communication, as a Documentary Filmmaker, TV journalist, Print Media journalist and with Online & Social Media, he brings with him a vast experience. He lives in Shimla.

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